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Difference between Bamboo & Bamboo Charcoal topped pads


Updated August 2023

This is a great question. 

Our most absorbent reusable sanitary pads are our bamboo plush pads. They come with two different top layers which sit against your skin, bamboo terry and bamboo charcoal.

They feature in our list of 'best period pads for heavy flow 2023' so we decided to update this blogpost with more detail on the benefits of both versions, answering frequently asked questions too.

At Cheeky Wipes HQ, we like both types of cloth sanitary pads but for different reasons.


Both bamboo and bamboo charcoal pads are equally absorbent. They're both AMAZING heavy flow period and pee protection pads and as for us as night maternity pads.


Cheeky bamboo pads cost the same as our bamboo charcoal pads, priced from X for a liner, Y for day pads and £6.49 for night / maternity pads. Both are available as multibuy savers with 5 for the price of 4.


Both bamboo and bamboo charcoal pads are eco friendly because they can be washed and reused again and again. This makes them a better option than disposable cotton pads.

Bamboo Day Pads

"These pads are ideal for when your experiencing a very heavy flow. They're great to wear during the day and night and can hold quite a lot blood depending on flow. On my really heavy days I can get though 2 a day. They are easy to wash, I just put mine straight in washing machine with other underwear and wash a normal cycle, come out nice fresh and clean, don't take long to dry on towel rail.

Think of what you will be saving on not having to buy night time disposable pads, worth paying for cheeky wipes and your saving the planet from landfill. So pleased I made the switch to reusable." Product Review via Trustpilot

Bamboo Pads


Our bamboo topped menstrual pads are a natural beige colour which sits against your skin. This has the benefit of showing clearly how heavy your period is and when you need to change the pad.


The bamboo topped pads are cooler to wear than their grey counterparts. If you struggle with hot sweaty nether regions, you'll prefer these.

Odour control

There's no inbuilt odour control with the bamboo reusable pads, however if you're changing your pads in line with your flow, they shouldn't smell anyway.


The bamboo topped pads are very comfortable especially when compared to disposable pads. They are slightly less soft than the bamboo charcoal as it has a microfleece topping.

Ease of washing

Bamboo pads are easy to wash as long as you follow the golden rule if you're using them for period use rather than incontinence protection. Always wash in cool or cold water, maximum 30c. Washing at higher temperatures will 'set' the blood stains. For more information read our article on washing and care instructions for reusable pads.

Ideally bamboo pads should be air dried although they can be tumble dried on low temperature.

Shop Bamboo Night Pads

Are bamboo pads good for skin?

Yes, bamboo pads are good for the skin as they are breathable, comfortable to wear and they wick away moisture quickly.

Are bamboo pads breathable?

Yes, bamboo pads are breathable. The nature of bamboo fabric is that it contains millions of microholes which mean it allows air to pass through, making them cool and breathable to wear.

Are bamboo pads good for you?

Yes, bamboo pads are good for you, especially when compared to disposable pads. They have none of the side effects of disposable pads, such as chafing and sweat rashes, or the potential for allergic reactions,

Bamboo Charcoal Topped Pads


Obviously the activated bamboo charcoal grey pads will not show the blood as clearly, so if you are squeamish choose this option! 


Not everyone is a fan of microfleece and some people find that the microfleece is too hot against their vulva. If this is you, go for the bamboo topped options instead.

Odour control

Because Cheeky bamboo charcoal reusable sanitary pads are made from active charcoal, they help in minimising odour. Having used both, I can't discern any noticeable odour from either if changed in line with my flow.


Bamboo charcoal is softer against the skin as it is a microfleece and will not become rough even after repeated washing. If you have sensitive skin, choose these rather than the bamboo topped pads.

Ease of Washing

They bamboo charcoal pads are less likely to show any staining, although if you follow our care instructions and cold soak and wash, then that shouldn't be a problem.

What are the disadvantages of bamboo charcoal?

The disadvantage of bamboo charcoal in pads is that because it's a microfleece, it can feel warm against your skin. Some people prefer a cooler material. In addition, you won't be able to clearly see how heavy your period is, which may be important to you.

Can bamboo charcoal pads touch the skin?

Yes, bamboo charcoal pads can touch the skin as bamboo charcoal is a microfleece material which has been oeko-tex certified as safe.

Are bamboo charcoal pads safe?

Yes, bamboo charcoal pads are safe. They are made from Oeko-tex certified materials which have no heavy metals and are PFA free also.

How do you clean bamboo charcoal pads?

To clean bamboo charcoal pads:

  • remove and rinse or
  • soak in cold water overnight
  • squirt with stain remover
  • wash in a regular wash cycle of at least one hour
  • use your usual detergent
  • line dry ideally

Shop Bamboo Pads Kit

"Bought this kit as it had everything just to try it out and it's safe to say these products reached my high expectations. I've been sick of disposables for years... the reusable pads are much more comfortable a lot more absorbent and they don't stink! I will be converting fully to reusables and will recommend them to others. One thing to mention though - be sure to wear something tight fitting with these pads as they can move (can wear tight pants or tight shorts over pants). I have actually found that to be an advantage in a way - with disposables once you stick them on it's difficult to adjust them if the position is wrong and unsticking and resticking is a big hassle at some point it stops sticking or I end up tearing the pad sometimes. With reusables I can adjust them any time to any position with no problem." Product Review via Trustpilot

Which is best, bamboo or bamboo charcoal pads?

To choose which is best between bamboo or bamboo charcoal pads comes down to personal preference. I like both, if pushed I might go for the bamboo top as I prefer the feel against my skin, but it all comes down to the individual. 

If you can't make up your mind, why not order one of each to see what you think, before making a commitment?

Find our full range of reusable bamboo pads, organic cotton pads and cotton pads.

We hope you enjoyed this article.  If you'd like to learn more about reusable period & pee protection, you may enjoy these:


About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, internal period protection such as tampons or menstrual cups were no longer an option for her and she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable panty liners and reusable sanitary pads.

The Cheeky customer services team pride themselves on providing honest, friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long, helping people make the switch to reusables! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.

Samantha Broughton
17 December 2014  |  23:00

Darn. Wish I'd realised this before I ordered. I hate the feel of fleece/microfiber and guess what I ordered?? I thought they'd be bamboo like the wipes etc, but coloured and maybe 'infused' with charcoal. Not got to using them yet so maybe they'll be Ok.

I have to say, this could be made clearer.

18 December 2014  |  6:14

Hi Samantha, Thanks for the feedback - we have made it much clearer now and added a link to this blog post on every page, so that should help!

Kim Weatherburn
30 October 2015  |  7:21

I would like to buy one of each pad to see if I get on with either of them, how do I order that option?

30 October 2015  |  11:47

Hi Kim, you can order one of each using this link:

Deborah Gregory
16 July 2017  |  22:05

I'd like to order one of each for my daughter but this link is not working. Is this still available

17 July 2017  |  5:55

Hi Deborah,
This link should work?